By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK
It's not the defense team's job to prove innocence. Nor is it the job of the accused to come up with a believable alternate story. I wasn't in the jury yesterday that found Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her 3-year-old daughter Caylee and so I didn't hear all the evidence. I know all this and yet ever since yesterday I've been holding all my kids a little bit tighter.
A baby died. In an apparently horrific manner. And nobody knows how or why. (Or if they do know they're not saying until they get that million dollar advance for their "memoirs".) Sometimes not knowing how a child died is worse than knowing her mother killed her.
Every time a child is killed and especially when the cases are as high profile as this one has been, my level of fear and mother paranoia goes up another couple of notches. (Which is saying a lot since I'm already at the high end of the anxiety scale.) There are no similarities between Casey Anthony and myself - we couldn't be living more different lives - nor is there any resemblance between little Caylee and my own daughter other than that they're both adorable, cherubic little human beings.
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I know all this and yet yesterday I walked my 9-year-old to his friend's house down the street rather than let him walk alone as I normally do. Not because he can't do it or because we live in an unsafe neighborhood but because today I feel less safe. Whatever happened to Caylee and whether or not her mom was involved, I will be forever haunted by that picture of the duct tape with the little glittery heart sticker over the mouth.
Any other moms having a hard time with this verdict?
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